Most bloggers are familiar with the basics of RSS, Really Simple Syndication, as it is a way for readers to subscribe to updates to your blog. Right now most people interact with RSS feeds by checking for updates about once an hour. However, in today’s real time world of Twitter – the current RSS feed frequency seems almost old fashioned. Can you imagine waiting an hour to get your emails? Well, a new RSS element, the RSS Cloud, is on its way. The RSS Cloud allows your readers to say, “Hey, let me know as soon as you’ve updated.”
The first big adopter of this element is WordPress.com, which just turned on support for all 7.5 million blogs on WordPress.com to use the RSS Cloud. In reality this does not mean all that much yet as there’s only one reader, River2, that has support for the RSS cloud. However, expectations are that RSS clients will soon add support for this new feature. There is a description of this process on the RSSCloud website if you want to see all the details.
The blog at WordPress.com notes that this is just the beginning of real time support and soon they are “going to be supporting other ways for people to get push notifications (Jabber, email, Weblogs.com pings, SUP, pubsubhubbub, Twitter… who knows what else.”
Speaking of pubsubhubbub, it is actually somewhat a competitor to the RSS Cloud idea. RSS clients that speak the pubSubHubbub protocol can get near-instant notifications when a blog they’re interested in is updated. With Google Reader supporting pubsubhubbub and WordPress.com supporting the RSS Cloud – it will be interesting to see if the big players support both options of if we are seeing the start of a format war.
Regardless of whether we get one format or two formats, it looks like blog posts (and maybe comments too) will soon be available in real time.